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Food mysteries that keep us up at night.

Food mysteries that keep us up at night.

Old Aug 5, 2023, 7:56 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by braslvr
Until recently, I thought everyone loved raisins. I mean, who doesn't like oatmeal-raisin cookies, or raisins in bread pudding or carrot cake?
However in the past 3-4 years I've heard at least 6 people say they despise them. Shocking I say.
Originally Posted by wrp96
For me it's the texture on raisins. Who thought this was pleasant to eat? And why ruin a good cookie with them?
+1. Cant stand raisins its definitely the texture for me. I cant do the gumminess and its not just raisins, we recently got my toddler son some dried blueberries that had a similar texture and despite being a huge blueberry fan, those things were awful.
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Old Aug 5, 2023, 9:12 pm
  #17  
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I'm trying to figure out why the serving size of my reduced-sodium dill pickle spears is two-thirds of one spear. What, exactly, am I supposed to do with the other one-third of the spear? Cut it off and return it to the jar where it will sink to the bottom, so that I can have an adventure when I want to retrieve it for a future meal?

And no, I'm not making this up:

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Last edited by guv1976; Aug 6, 2023 at 1:38 pm
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Old Aug 5, 2023, 9:24 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by wrp96
For me it's the texture on raisins. Who thought this was pleasant to eat? And why ruin a good cookie with them?
Originally Posted by FindingFoodFluency
Get that rubbish outta my bread pudding!

Don't mind raisins in cookies, though.
Originally Posted by Duke787
+1. Cant stand raisins its definitely the texture for me. I cant do the gumminess and its not just raisins, we recently got my toddler son some dried blueberries that had a similar texture and despite being a huge blueberry fan, those things were awful.
I like virtually all dried fruit. Sometimes more than fresh fruit. I don't care for fresh grapes of any type.
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 2:52 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by gaobest
Who thought of live drunken shrimp - had it in Shanghai in 1998

and Sardinian cazu marzu - maggot cheese on dry crackers. Who considered this to be good?

we love foie gras and howd this come to fruition?
I can kind of understand foie gras. Generally, farmers have fed their animals certain foods to produce flavors, fat, etc. for as long as we can tell. But the others...yeah.

Originally Posted by FindingFoodFluency
If a kitchen has two ingredients I like, and separately puts them on two pizzas, how come I can't get them both on one pizza?
So you can get a pepperoni pizza or a mushroom pizza but not a pepperoni and mushroom pizza? I'm not sure that's a mystery, likely just a bad pizzeria. And if either of these two ingredients is pineapple, then you KNOW its a bad pizzeria .

Here's another one along the lines of "how'd someone invent that" -- maple syrup. Someone decided to put a hole in a tree at a certain time of the year, a nasty sap ran out, and they decided to boil it up and eat it. And where's all the syrup from other trees? Did the same inventor tap a second tree and die from it? Or just decided it didn't taste as good on his flapjack? How many apple and cherry trees did he pass by because he really had a hankerin' for some tree sap?
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 3:19 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by JBord
Here's another one along the lines of "how'd someone invent that" -- maple syrup. Someone decided to put a hole in a tree at a certain time of the year, a nasty sap ran out, and they decided to boil it up and eat it. And where's all the syrup from other trees? Did the same inventor tap a second tree and die from it? Or just decided it didn't taste as good on his flapjack? How many apple and cherry trees did he pass by because he really had a hankerin' for some tree sap?
Indigenous peoples of North America were on to maple syrup long before Europeans arrived. There are various legends about how it was discovered.

Birch trees can also be tapped but it's a lot more work. We have good stands of sugar maple on our property and have made our own maple syrup but not birch. Maple sap to syrup is a 40-1 ratio, birch is 120-1.
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 5:57 pm
  #21  
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Who ever thought an artichoke was edible?
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 5:59 pm
  #22  
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Cottage cheese
Yogurt

How did whoever first made know they were finished making it?
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 7:13 pm
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Saffron puzzles me. Who thought, hey, if we pick the stigma from a crocus flower and dry it, we can use it as a spice?

What other stigmas did they try from other flowers? Why just the crocus flower?

But my favorite mysteries are European botanical liqueurs. Did they just try to ferment anything and everything?

Aperol, Campari, Amaro, Vermouth, Jagermeister etc. I am enjoying trying them all, but I am fascinated by how they were developed.
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 8:21 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by cblaisd
Cottage cheese
Yogurt

How did whoever first made know they were finished making it?
I would add sour cream to that list.
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 3:13 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit

But my favorite mysteries are European botanical liqueurs. Did they just try to ferment anything and everything?

Aperol, Campari, Amaro, Vermouth, Jagermeister etc. I am enjoying trying them all, but I am fascinated by how they were developed.
I know the answer to this. Information about many of those herbs that would have been recognisable to those curious monks is being discovered in cuneiform.

5,000 years ago, Mesopotamians were recording their discoveries on a medium that can be read and referenced to that allowed collaborations with similarly sensitive people with keen interest and attention to details across time and generations. Cuneiform was collected into libraries and thus discoveries, instead of being forgotten or lost, could be retrieved and were referred to and built upon over 3 millennia, something inconceivable to us paper/parchment users.

And there was a transmission route, the Greeks went to study and the last Mesopotamians graciously shared their knowledge (60 minutes in an hour, 360 degrees in a circle etc.) which was then transmitted to other sensitive people with keen interests and attention to details; these kinds of geeks were well represented in Monasteries.

We are in a golden age with regards to recovering understanding about our distant past and cuneiform is the key to understanding how our discoveries were recorded, studied and advanced upon. Those tablets certainly include food (the 5 thousand year old inscription for barley still legible to any of us today) and botanicals.
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 12:32 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Badenoch
Indigenous peoples of North America were on to maple syrup long before Europeans arrived. There are various legends about how it was discovered.

Birch trees can also be tapped but it's a lot more work. We have good stands of sugar maple on our property and have made our own maple syrup but not birch. Maple sap to syrup is a 40-1 ratio, birch is 120-1.
I get that there is often a documented history of food development. The question for me is not "how" but "why".
I'm certain most of the items in this thread were either the result of food preservation experiments or pure accident.
I have several uncles that tap trees and make maple syrup too -- it's the best i've ever tasted!
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 12:51 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by JBord
I get that there is often a documented history of food development. The question for me is not "how" but "why".
I'm certain most of the items in this thread were either the result of food preservation experiments or pure accident.
I have several uncles that tap trees and make maple syrup too -- it's the best i've ever tasted!
There are many legends about how maple syrup. Most of them say it was by accident.

https://www.maple-flavour.com/history-c-147_148.html
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 2:45 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by JBord
I get that there is often a documented history of food development. The question for me is not "how" but "why".
I'm certain most of the items in this thread were either the result of food preservation experiments or pure accident.
The “why” is surely the driving force behind so much experimentation and development. The problem is that what was very clear as a rational, common sense reason to our ancestors can be unfathomable to us now (well, not all of us; pouring beer into your anus is apparently an evergreen pursuit)

”If someone's belly is sick, and more specifically it has piercing pains, he eats bread [and] drinks beer, [but then] he voids it through his anus, he vomits [and] swallows' saliva in a meadow: you pound asafoetida* [and] he drinks it in water. You boil down white plant in oil [and] you pour it into his anus. He drinks pressed wine. You boil down juniper [and] the aromatic kukru [. . .] in a small copper pot, you smear [the mixture] on a piece of fabric [and] you bandage him.”

https://www.britishmuseum.org/blog/a...hcare-fit-king

More examples here:
http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/asbp/ninmed/P365744
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Old Aug 8, 2023, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
The problem is that what was very clear as a rational, common sense reason to our ancestors can be unfathomable to us now (well, not all of us; pouring beer into your anus is apparently an evergreen pursuit)
I suppose this is correct, even if it's an unsatisfying answer. And kudos on using "anus" three times in a food forum post!
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 3:25 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by JBord
I suppose this is correct, even if it's an unsatisfying answer. And kudos on using "anus" three times in a food forum post!
Finding out that our ancestors herbal and medicinal experiments didnt even have to be palatable to be acceptable for ingestion does allow for far more avenues of experimentation to be explored.
The why would anyone have put that in their mouth? question might be about the wrong orifice.
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